Where does one begin to tell a story?
In 2000 we became aware of Rwanda and of the survivors there who had suffered great losses during the Genocide of 1994. With a visit to the country in 2002 we met with Rwandan survivors who were dedicated to restoring their country and bringing healing and reconciliation. The first task at hand needed to be a holistic approach. Homes have been destroyed, a means of making a living was non-existent, medical treatment was needed for those who were physically and emotionally attacked. But more than anything, trauma counseling was needed by almost everyone who had lived through the horrific experience of brother killing brother, neighbor killing neighbor, and blood shed everywhere. The entire country was ravaged with trauma of one sort or another.
We began to learn firsthand from the survivors of these atrocities as we listened to their stories and learned of the great numbers of people who lost their lives because they belonged to the wrong people group. Their struggles became real to us; dealing with the trauma they had endured, as well as the financial challenges of rebuilding their homes and livelihoods. There was an urgent need for them to rise from the resulting poverty. As we witnessed the work being done to bring hope to those who had suffered so much, we decided to partner with people Like Ben Kayumba and Violette Nyirarukundo. These were survivors who were working hard to make a difference and who felt the call to minister to their people.
By 2004 we began to have enough interest from others who wanted to help be a part of the healing and restoration process that teams were formed and the focus of the “ministry of presence” became our purpose. We have been taking teams ever since. We developed lasting relationships which grew into a ministry partnership with Good News International, founded by Ben Kayumba. Our partnership has seen healing, restoration and economic advances, but there is still great need in this land that Satan wanted to destroy.
Although our efforts over the years have focused on a holistic approach to helping, our main focus is always to bring comfort and encouragement by sharing God’s love, along with caring in a tangible way for the physical needs of the communities we are called to love and serve.